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Tsukiji (Tokyo) – The Sea Burst onto the Ground

Tsukiji is the world’s largest fish market – 10x the size of its nearest competitor. This had to be a stop on my trip in Tokyo. Tourists are tolerated but it’s a stressful time – narrow aisles, slippery floors, packed crowds of busy shoppers, and motorized vehicles that are aiming for you from every direction – you have to be alert. And mindful that these people scurrying around are trying to make a living, many owners of small mom and pop shops across Tokyo.

Most of the fish is housed under one gigantic roof that runs seemingly forever. There are hundreds (thousands?) of stalls, most themselves mom and pop operations, that have about 100-150 sqft of “retail” space; and a very tiny office, usually large enough for just a chair and a cash register. The stalls and aisles are generally organized by type of seafood.

You will obviously see a lot of blood and death – not to mention corpses being hacked by knife and power saws. The seafood runs the entire gamut of possibilities – from the familiar to monstrosities straight out of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It is fascinating to think of all the permutations of shrimp and fish – and it certainly provides ample excuse for repeat trips to Tokyo sushi spots.

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San Francisco Fish Company (SF) – Live Sea Scallops

As I’ve said, the San Francisco Fish Company confounds me – previously frozen shellfish, dull red tuna, pale salmon, but sometimes they have a treat. This time – live scallops in the shell – $7.99/lb.

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Amano Ocumare – Best Chocolate (bar) in the US!

We interrupt these tales of Paris and truffles to bring you late-breaking news – the discovery of Amano chocolate bars.

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Pierre Herme vs Laduree (Paris) – Macaroon Might

Laduree is the old guard on the Champs Elysees, Pierre Herme the rock’n'roll master on the Left Bank. Laduree’s macaroons are more traditional in flavor; Herme’s current collection revolves around the theme of “Fetish.” Laduree has a tea shop, no doubt a symbol of its properness; Pierre Herme launches his new dessert lines at strip clubs. Herme used to work at Laduree and apparently felt stifled.

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Truffle Trip Picture Preview

The truffle trip was generally a success. There were both astonishing and very poor dishes (as well as entire meals) that ranged from reasonably priced to hideously expensive. You will read and see the results over the upcoming weeks.

For now, here’s a tease of some of the best truffle dishes (in no certain order):

1. Ledoyen (very thick, crunchy, & tasty)

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